Friday, December 16, 2005

Breakfast at Claire's

Yesterday I went out Christmas shopping with my sister. After we parted, I stopped in at Claire’s on Broadway by 8th street. I wanted to get some earrings. At the buy-two-get-one-free rack, I found some “pearl” studs for $4.50. Score! Now, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman approaching her 33d year should probably have some real pearl earrings, but I am not really a woman approaching her 33d year. I am a woman who, when given actual pearl earrings by one of her best friends for her 32d birthday, promptly loses one of them the next evening at a party. Score! And I can’t even say that I lost it because I was dancing on a table or drinking from a funnel. No, it just popped off and scampered into the night. It was expensive jewelry, and knew that it had to reject my person as a host. Hence the $4.50 studs, for another party. An office Christmas party, thrown by the office of a friend, and I am hoping since the office is a Huge Media Conglomerate, it will rival the one depicted in the Tracy-Hepburn vehicle Desk Set--I believe there’s an aerial shot of a network television office with a bird’s eye view of countless cubicles containing riotous, alcohol-fueled merrymaking and a scene where Hepburn and Tracy are getting soused on, or is it under, a fireproof desk with a bottle of champagne. I was born too late and moved to New York to work in The Media too late, clearly. But I digress.

While at the rack, a woman entered the store. “Welcome to Claire’s,” a clerk said. “Can I help you?”

“I need a boa,” the woman said. “Do you all have boas?”

“No,” said the clerk. “We’re all out.”

“Well, do you have tights?” Here I zoned out, trying to determine whether the “sensitive solutions” silver was going to turn my ears green. Then I heard the woman say “But where do all the divas get their tights?”

“You should try 8th street,” said the clerk. “You know, where all the shoe stores are. I think they’ve got all that stuff.”

“What about,” said the woman, “something silver. Like a silver cape or a shawl or something. I’m not afraid to look like a hooker. I’ll go there.” Where is it you're going, I thought, that you need a boa and tights and something silver? Take me with you!

The clerk laughed. “I’m sorry. We don’t really carry that sort of thing either.”

Even though Claire’s had been found sorely wanting, the woman was still in good spirits. “Where are all the queens when you need 'em?” she asked, shaking her head, and then going off into the night.

The clerk turned to me. “Did you hear that?” She was laughing. “The things you hear in this store. She wasn’t afraid to look like a hooker. I am not that sort of girl, though. I hope she wasn’t insinuating that I was.”

I loved that the Claire’s clerk got huffy about her standing as a virtuous woman. I guess working at Claire’s isn’t like working in Spencer Gifts, where there would be penis-shaped pasta, hardy-har-har, on the shelves, or Victoria’s Secret, which, I suspect if it did not exist, mob guys would not know what to get their wives and girlfriends for gifts. I have luck at Target, but where do all the divas get their tights?